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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 31, 2010 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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most talented political writers with us today. let's have thank burman. [applause] and i'm going to let you go over there and get situated to sign
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books. >> an investigative journalism fellow at the nation institute. for more information, visit
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dick armey, tucker clarson, kate zernike and joel lepore participate in a panel discussion on the tea party. from the national press club in washington, this is an hour and 20 minutes. >> good evening and welcome to the national press club, where we are very pleased to have a distinguished panel with us today, the national press club aspires to the world's professional organization for
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journalists and part of that is bringing together top journalists as well as people who make news. we certainly have that tonight. if you want more information about the national press club, please contact us through our web site, which is that this program should be at some point archived and made available. so we are thrilled to have you all here tonight to talk about a phenomenon that's become a key factor in this year's elections, the tea party movement. tonight's panel examining the tea party movement will be talking about everything from historical arguments to its more immediate beginnings last year to last month's rally on the national mall. the tea party revolt against the policies of barack obama is credited with increasing the odds that republicans will take over at least one house of congress, even as it exposes fault lines within the republican party itself. with us tonight, or four panelists to each bring unique perspectives to the topic.
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to your far left, ma eight far right, we have dick armey, the former house majority leader who was instrumental in the last gop takeover of the house of representatives in 1994. he's now the chairman of freedom works, an organization that calls for smaller government and of low taxes. freedom works is organizing an upcoming march on washington which is bringing thousands to demonstrate for its message. next, kate zernike's new book, a boiling mad insight teat party america, describes the movement from the perspective of "the new york times" reporters coverage of the tea party movement. the booknotes on hold when the people who identify with the tea party are better educated and better off than most americans they remain deeply pessimistic about the economy and the direction of the country. zernike has covered education, congress and for national elections for the times as a previous reporter for the "boston globe" and a member of the times team that should the tools to pulitzer prize for explanatory reporting. tucker clarson is the co-founder
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and editor-in-chief of the daily caller and also a commentator for fox news and a senior fellow at the cato institute. as someone who has expressed deep commitment to conservative ideals come he has not always marched in step with the republican party when he hasn't seen as a champion of limited government. he spoke of a tea party rally in april and said the organization is not monolithic, it is a force to be reckoned with. finally, to my immediate right, is jill lepore, the david woods kimber professor of american history at harvard university and a staff writer at the new yorker. she sees the movement current identification with the american revolution in part as a long battle over the meaning of this nation's founding ideas. she is the author of the whites of their eyes the tea parties revolution and the battle for american history which is on october. the book argues america has a founding that is not only unstable but is ultimately a form of fundamentalism. an tai intellectual, historical and dangerously antipluralist.
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most of the questions this evening will be asked by you, the audience. you've been provided of course. this is a moderate discussion, so as questions come to your mind, please bring them up and get them toward me and i will organize them as many as i am able to. my first question actually is for jill lepore. tell us a little bit about what you see as some of the historical debates that are embodied within the tea party movement and sort of this diesel year to identify with the american revolution and founding narrative of american history in the present day. >> thank you for inviting me. it's an honor to be here the press club and with a distinguished panel. i'm eager to participate in this evening's discussion. the tea party has its name and inspiration from the american revolution as indeed many political movement since the revolution itself, so claiming the revolution as the ideological inheritance of
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political movement is part of the american political tradition if you think about battles between jacksonian said and whigs, the union and consider a seat, the integrationist from each of these moments of american history americans have looked at a revolution as an inspiration from martin luther king from a birmingham jail said the boston tea party was the first four of non-violent protests. so you can point to all kinds of political actors across centuries who found inspiration in the revolution, which is something that defines who we are as a people but one of the things that has always been challenged for how americans wrestle with the legacy of the revolution is their something fundamentally on stable if you think about it, about a nation that is founded in the revolution. part of the project of nation-building is to contain the instability and unruliness of the revolution and that is one of the ways historians understand the drafting of the constitution as a process of containing the unruliness of the
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revolution. so over the century of the battle over who is carrying the mantle of the revolution has often had to deal with fundamental tension that the information found in the revolution. >> tucker clarson, taking it more toward the present day and political trends, what have you been seeing from your perspective as a commentator and as a person who's discussing some of those ideas of washington, d.c. why there seems to have been such a reaction to the policies of barack obama's administration, given that the last two elections have been strong for the democratic candidates and the american political spin pendulum swinging far to the left for a while. >> oh boy, how long do you have? like 90 seconds -- there are lots of ways, let me count the ways. heels recounted. the count one, the pendulum didn't swing far left, it swung against bush. american politics is by its
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nature cyclical. it tends to swing back and forth. voters like divided government better than monolithic. he overreached. i can go on and on to read a lot of reasons obama went from being in the first president since 1976 on the democratic side to win a majority of the popular vote even among some people who voted for him but truly among the people who didn't. let me just say that i'm not a participant in the tea party. i'm certainly not an expert in comparison to the people sitting up here with me. but i am struck by the reaction to the tea party. i grew up in southern california and a liberal environment. i've always loved and pretty liberal places and the kind of icons we were presented with growing up in school were almost exclusively people who fought against the system and status quo and gave the finger to convention and moved to vienna more people sort of took an unpopular stand and may have paid a short-term price but by
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the people who taught me history any way people took to the streets were considered he rose. watching the reaction of the tea party people have received, most of whom are -- certainly politics, trust me if you've ever covered a political rally the cheaper the people are the most normal folks you will meet at a rally. there's a lot of weirdos of the rallies. tea party people seem pretty normal to me. they have been cast and the most in the darkest possible light as bigots and a group to fear, and they're very participation is cast as a legitimate which affects me as very odd since the same people making that claim are the same that celebrate everyone else who takes to the streets. it's hypocritical and stupid and wrong and more than that it's counterproductive. far more useful i think to democrats to listen to what he doherty people are saying and their message from my point of view is clear. it's not a social or religious message, it is by and large message about spending and debt
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and again it would be more useful to the opponents of the tea party to hear that and act on it, and i think bill clinton -- the last thing i was a for instance -- looking back on a politician's wife watched carefully, a politician as smart as bill clinton would watch a tea party and pitted against it same line for this or that, of course, but he would also -- any responsible politician will also incorporate what his opponents are saying, and make it his own, right? so clinton ran against ross perot, he was a deficit hawk, clinton approved rated the issue. obama is not doing that. foolish and he's going to be punished for it. >> what's -- moving from that talk about the concept of appropriation may be not a sense of maturity is this trust tactics and methods, and one thing to talk about in your book, kate zernike, is talking about move on board, the grateful dead, organizing tactics. the tea party movement in many ways may seem as at least some sort of a counter cultural
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movement if you're talking about a reaction to a certain at least proceed culture, and i'm wondering if you could talk about some of the common threads of what tucker clarson was talking about, the adulation of the rubble and the tea party as a self-contained self identified rebellion movement in the u.s. today. islamic i think that the tea party has very consciously appropriate -- the talk about salles berlinski all the time and say we want to use salles berlinski to our advantage, and i've watched from dreamworks and other grokster doherty is the loyalty parties and they come in and say we need to be community organizers and it is a hard sell. of course we know that in the 2008 election sarah palin community organizer term of derision among the conservatives but it is among other bible and i think that tucker is right to a degree the eustis and tactics therefore if we submit this tactics we can't -- we can't
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look upon the tea party in any other way. i think there's also been a lot of misplaced attention -- and this is why talk about in the book -- people focus on the sign for the racist, and the mess what the important thing about the tea party which is that they are organizing and mobilizing and really going to have an impact on the election and of doherty talks about its the money. if you look what happened in alaska last week it was in the money that got jim milward elected, it was the tea party on the ground. it wasn't lisa murkowski spending like 20 period one. so i think the organization is crucial and is a brilliant stroke to the appropriate the tactics of the left. it is interesting of course and the last thing you would expect to go to 80 party rally or organizing a seminar and have someone recommend reading malcolm bodwell's tipping point and comparing the tea party to the grateful dead. i don't think most think of themselves as deadheads and they
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are not dropping good for substances one might drop on a dead show. but they've created this community for people, and that's been very powerful and that goes to what joe was talking about. this is a religious movement become a cause and a way of life for many people which is what building that community is all about. >> i really appreciate how each of the panelists is provided my segue for the panelists because kate was talking about organization and we go to dick armey. first of all, do you idolize salles wolinski? [laughter] >> just say yes. >> and i would be interested in your thoughts as far as the model of a grass-roots organization you may see now compared to save 1994 when you were also very active in the conservative takeover. >> welcome a let's do away with salles wolinski as soon as possible. and as efficiently i suppose as we can. i was first introduced to salles
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wolinski by a bunch of liberal college professors who thought he was a good man and did good things very well. i, unlike them, realized he was very good at what he did. it was just what he did wasn't good. still, nevertheless, you may be against -- you may be against taxidermy, for example, you might never think you ought to hang a trophy on your wall. but indeed, if you found it necessary to do taxidermy, you would find a taxidermist there was good enough to do it and learn how to do it from him. he was very good at what he did. he was a bad person. his ideas were goofy, you know. i mean, silly, worse than that, inane. but he served them with a great deal of efficiency. so we can take the skills and abilities that have been put to that task and put them to the good task. that's a good thing, that's a good turnaround.
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so don't get us wrong about salles wolinski. we don't like him, and we don't like people who do like him. but we can learn the skills that come in and that's what we do. when i left congress in 1984 wanted to make a difference for the things i believe dan, freedom, individual liberty, and fiscal sanity and i associate myself by my good fortune with what is now freedom works on the basis of my observation that during those 18 years that i was working there that they were the one most effective outside organization that helped us achieve goals that were commensurate with my principles of small government conservatism and that's what we do. we do small government conservative grassroots activism. so it was probably quite natural that we would recognize this movement as it grew across the
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country quicker than most people come and they would recognize us as somebody they could turn to for advice and encouragement quicker than other organizations. so they're became what john kenneth galbraith would call a democratic symbiosis between us bureaucrats and freedom works and the entrepreneurs that are known as the tea party. but we have to be very clear there is no tea party. there are activist american citizens who are compelled by their love of america, the fear for america, their absolute disgust over the childish ways of people in high office that they think are being resulted in the government has destructive to america and their determination to fix it who have said the way we are going to fix this and adjust the behavior of
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people have the privilege of being in high office is we are going to have a series of tea parties and and whatever techniques we can try to teach them how to be responsible adults and office, marvelous concept quite frankly. one scarcely grasp in this town. so there are american citizens who are having tea parties but they are not a tea party. they don't like politics by and large. they don't like politicians and probably for good reason since we don't like juvenile delinquency either, and they are closely related activities because they are shortsighted and self-centered activities. and so they say we have to quit the behavior and have people in office who can rise to the location of the trust and duty of the office and that now translates into effective behavior, and let me just point out this movement as i saw this
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swelling occurs america started long before obama took office. in fact, it was first born out of disappointment and angry disappointment in the republicans. and then there was a moment of hope because they had a very slick diamond a great campaign on the basis of his talent, which was so good, such great talent he was able to hide his lack of ability so the city period of cold and they got in the president, and he saw everything they feared and were upset with in the old president and doubled down on. and so what was in fact anger and disappointment became feared, fear for the nation. you talk and walk among these folks, the most diversified group of people you will find in one group, republicans, democrats, independents, libertarians, evangelicals,
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catholics, jews, you name it we've got it, and the most tolerant group of people you will find certainly far more tolerant than either political party is even of their own members, and you walk among these folks and there is nobody here who hates anybody. but everybody here is scared to death for this country. and yes, they understand our history. and final point, these folks that don't necessarily have a high degree of sophistication one finds in the average faculty said, which is a dangerous place to be. understood that the people who founded this nation was indeed the greatest generation, the most courageous people, the brightest people, the most literate people, and their founding documents in the supporting documents of documentation of their views and advice for this country was not
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written or spoken carelessly. in a word, when they look at jefferson, franklin, hamilton, washington and on and on the list goes. when they spoke, they spoke from a certain knowledge of what the meaning of the word is, was and said exactly what they meant. so the greatest crime that really in fact befuddles and anchors the intellectual establishment in america is the had the decency to take a great man at their word, literally. rather than the audacity to believe i know better what they really must have meant than they did when they said what they said. [laughter] so the one thing you've got to love about these folks is they are not as a light, and i love them. >> before i continue with the second round of questions, as everyone has had one question is their anything anyone would like
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to say in response to anything anyone has it so far? all right then. quick question for jill lepore since we were just discussing the founders. did the founding fathers, and they were father's, with the exception of abigail adams perhaps, did the founding fathers never contradict one another? >> sure, the founding fathers for smart guys that spent decades working out of political philosophy that's the greatest intellectual contribution of the united states in the modern world. they have to disagree with one another. you can't have -- you can't produce that kind of political philosophy without debate. there's tremendous amount of debate and one of my favorites correspondence between jefferson and madison, jefferson wasn't a constitutional convention, he was in paris at the time and jefferson believed he had this sort of highly idealistic notion that the government couldn't actually be given to the unborn
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so that every generation would have to write its own constitution. he's carried away with the political philosophy of his day and wrote to madison and said this is great we have this new system of government, but we can't actually asked 20 years from now people to abide by, this is something they have to come up with their own. and madison had been sweating it out in philadelphia hashing about trying to come up with these compromises to a very difficult summer drafting the constitution, you know, wrote to jefferson okay, that's all very good and serious but this is the lasting constitution. we can't actually do this every 20 years. that is a meaningful correspondence. adams famously wrote the history of the revolution would be one continued leyna from one end to the other because he knew when of the things the what happened in the wake of what was such a tremendous outpouring of intellectual activity and political thinking would be that it would be simplified, that the story americans would call themselves over the generations which would change, and he was
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quite concerned with the story would look like in the future but obviously has no control over that. >> just following on that, part of the reason i ask that question was as certainly a more limited government and lower taxes are strains one sees in the founding narrative, but the same time john kerry, 40 years ago, was cleaning the founders as part of his legacy was of vietnam veterans against the war. i'm wondering if you could discuss a little bit about the complexity of the narrative threads of the founding of american history and how it leads john kerry to claim the founders at the same time that say a person who would be attending a tea party protest in this day would also be claiming that although they certainly wouldn't be a fan of john kerry. >> yeah, and i think it is a capacious intellectual agenda. the entire 18th century, the enlightening, the great awakening to beat you think of all the ideas that swirled
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around over the decades in the 18th century. there are a lot of things people can look to as antecedents for their own view and certainly have, so one of the -- i think of this movement kind of the long view of american history as being in answer to the left wing appropriation of the bicentennial of the 1970's when it led by the entire war of land and people like kerry who re-enacted paul revere's rise as a political protest and people took over the boston tea party in 1773 calling for nixon's defense impeachment, all of these actors on the left who brought an incredible vigilance and militants to the way that they express themselves politically in the 1970's and moderates from quite concerning plant and seed in so that kerry would like to the war movement to the tremendous opposition to the standing army, an element of revolutionary rhetoric that didn't last in the sense
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washington can to understand once the war was being followed the militia couldn't actually win against the british army and the army needed to be formed and when they won the army staff around him so the opposition to the standing army faded and in some ways the bill of rights, but that antecedents can claim as an entire war activist in the 1970's and i think it's in fact if anything gets some of those fairly extreme usages in the left in the 1970's like the salles wolinski models are being echoed now. >> one of the things this has been a strain in american populism for centuries now. we think about populism they had this common thread of reclaiming the country, reclaiming what it means to be in america if they are reclaiming the real america, and people talk about when they talk about tea party they see the tea party wants to america back. back to what? what does that mean? and that means they wanted to get back to a time there wasn't
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a black president. there is a quote from salles wolinski. it's my goddamn country and i want to take it back. so this notion of taking back america has been with us a very long time. >> i have walked and talked with these folks that you all call doherty party. these genuine grass-roots american citizens from all over this country, and i have not yet found a single person who is concerned about the color of this president's skin, and i have to tell you i am offended by your suggestion of that. [applause] and let me finish, the idea of these folks are somehow antiintellectual is as you already might have noticed just ticks me off. these are bright, educated, hard-working and responsible people taking care of all of
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life's duties. in the family, and their business, and their jobs, in their community and their church among their neighbors with a decent respect for one another. and that somehow or another is called a simplistic and recessed and it burns me up. >> my point was actually -- my point was actually that in fact the movement saying to america back but it's not actually about a black president, that this is something we've seen over and over for generations and over and over and populist movements from the left and the right and it does not have anything to do with the president's skin. i was agreeing with your point. >> than i owe you an apology. thank you. [laughter] >> and going to a question from the audience this is actually for you, kate zernike. has your initial impression of the movement that you have been covering, short and we will refer to it as an of misunderstanding that there are various strengths from various walks of life.
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has your impression of the movement changed in the past year and half and if so, how? >> i think i went into it pretty open-minded. i was curious about people who i talked to would say you reporters want to know who are these people, as if we are some kind of freaks but i do go in thinking who are these people and where are they coming from? i have certainly not a lot of people who live and have a very reasonable views who may disagree politically but i understand where they are coming from. so yeah imet perhaps my impression has changed but i think i went into it open-minded. i don't expect anybody in this room to support someone from "the new york times" going in but i did. [laughter] let me just say one thing. i was worrisome when you see something growth this large in terms of the numbers, and spread across the country so fast, my first year for the movement was it took me back to a quote but i
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had in "the wall street journal" in 1985. you can be so archaeologically hidebound you cut yourself out of the process, and my half year was these folks would be so hard committed to their central core principles they would have the flexibility. they put my fears to rest in new jersey when they, with all their vote we wouldn't have an exceptional fiscal conservative governor today. they put my future rest -- fears to rest in massachusetts where without your efforts we wouldn't have had a necessarily perfect conservative if you take a look at where we were with senator kennedy and where we are now with senator obama, a pretty good turnaround. so the willingness to understand
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the practical requirements of the political success for the achievement of your objectives beyond the hard strong principles of their foundation believes was my most pleasant surprise, and of course in the end what is going to cause the democrats to suffered an enormous loss at the whole vito polls this fall. >> moving the question from ms. zernike to tucker clarson. how was your impression changed in the last year and a half? >> i don't know that it has been revised and a lot of time are not cheaper people, i don't know if we are supposed to use that phrase but i think of them as a very benign way to the tea party people. i like people who get out and express their political views. i happen to personally strongly agree with of a sort of basic framework of what i think the tea party positions are, small government, fear of that, things like that. but i think there is something honorable, or there's nothing
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dishonorable about getting out and making your feelings known in public and so i get every benefit of every doubt to people who do that as long as they are not throwing rocks at the front window of starbucks or sitting anything on fire. it's all within the bounds as far as i am concerned and my experience has been uniformly positive, super nice, super open face to and ingenuous and just sweet and i wasn't surprised by that kind of hard and. not at all the character -- i have to say one thing that does get me going about this is their reaction to that he parties, and you see the lack of diversity in the press corps when you read some of the coverage exchanged the early coverage of the tea party, it is revealed that almost everybody at the major metropolitan newspapers and certainly cable television producers by and large come from the same background, coastal, secular, from a certain mindset they don't know anybody who goes
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to church or has a gun or anybody that is pro-life or, to know i mean it's just true, and if every reporter in america was from provo utah the news coverage would be different from the way it is not to read to can't argue people's will to doesn't affect the aggregate because it does, and they by and large didn't get the benefit of any doubt to the cheaper people. it's like who are these people? the ar appeared to read a strange snake in and freaked me out. they are clearly motivated by dark impulses and that's just not the way you cover a story i don't think. >> you're part of the washington media and can be afflicted with such things. >> i am in total minority. >> with a monolithic characterization beah procrit when you see a greater diversity? >> let me say as i said before, i was educated in the liberal schools. i lived on the coast my whole life, i live in the district of columbia. i am one of four people with my view of living in d.c..
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[laughter] negative from the same background as anybody else, trust me. it's just i don't know, maybe -- >> [inaudible] >> no i don't know what this but i just -- it annoys me when people of canada legitimate minority views are dismissed as crazy out of hand. i don't like that. >> anyone have other thoughts on the topic? >> we have a million of these folks come to d.c. they literally left the city clean than they found. they not only picked up after themselves but they picked up other people's trash. there wasn't a broken window, there wasn't a store looted, there wasn't a person held hostage, they didn't pound nails into any petraeus to stop the
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saws. i never saw such a kind considerate group and they are co radicals. when the world do you come up with a fat, if they published your shoes would you call them? tar heels? i don't know. [laughter] >> there were fairly contentious town hall meetings over the health care bill last year. >> i promise you this -- are you married? >> nope. >> get married and you will learn a lot of things that you don't understand. [laughter] if you go home to your wife and say i just bought a new insurance policy for you and me and all the kids and for generations to come, and by the way, i didn't read it, she will kill you, she would block you off. people went to the town hall meeting scared to death i wonder what's in the bill. i will go to the town hall meetings and ask my congressman and in the town hall after town hall in america the congress said i didn't read the bill. the speaker of the house says we have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in that.
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they ran a boarding triet their elected representatives who are paid to act on their behalf to read the bill than your wife would have been if you can, and said i bought an insurance policy i haven't read. in fact they treated those congressmen with a greater kindness and your wife would treat you, and i promise you that to be the laughter comes the next question for tucker clarson. this question from the audience is i hear tea party members, affiliates, fiscal restraint and small government as a mantra. i also hear the tea party say unlimited support for the military. how do these come together? >> they don't, and neither does unlimited support for an entitlement, medicare and social security. it is a total problem. i am for anybody getting other calling attention to the debt and overspending and expansion of government power to really think it's really important and i also, as someone completely inconsistent in my personal views some of which are crackpot i don't ever hold anybody to the
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impossible standard of consistency, nor what i hope the tea party or anyone to the standard, however it's worth pointing out that if you are really worried the growth of government and overspending, you've got to kind of do something about medicare, and to a lesser degree social security. and so -- and the military. it's not good enough to say i paid into it, i deserve it. first of all, that is probably not tactically true, and probably taking more out than you put in, everybody else does, but it's still worth having the conversation. you can't have fiscal sacred cows if you are really sincerely interested in reducing the size of the debt and deficit. that is a mathematical fact. >> moving over to you, mr. mr. armey. you mentioned earlier the concerns this is going to become such an illogical doctrinaire movement that would break into its own secretary in squabbles, to what extent are you comfortable with diversity and
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inconsistency within the movement while maintaining some sort of confusion as a political force, but have to be a concern to you. >> if you believe your foundation of support we come to the rock bottom foundation believe on which he began to build this, your reverent respect and insistence on individual liberty you have no difficulty with diversity. look, everybody has a right to be their own personal their own terms as the lord god almighty made them, and this country has a duty to protect on their behalf. and so if we have differences among us, let's just have a civil respect for one another. and we -- have you watched these folks work? the of the common set of believe that by and large they adhere to and they worked communally on them with a great deal of enthusiasm and effectiveness. they have a few things they won't tolerate.
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and they deal with it quickly with dispatch. and you've seen that in this movement more quickly and more effectively and more certainly than any movement i have seen before. if somebody is a racist, they are out. if somebody speaks in tolerant terms about somebody else's behavior, they are out. these folks don't mess with it, and they are decisive, so while they are very few little things that are just swell egregious they can't be tolerated it's not much. so yeah, we have a few disagreements. one of the things you've got to understand and i've watched this with a great deal of amusement because in 1985 when i had my first town hall meeting, there were some really crazy people that showed up to read these r. dee not used people i had ever seen in my life, and i had never seen anything quite like it if so i asked around who are these people? well, they are called lyndon larouche jurors, they happen to
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be democrats and they show up everywhere. they showed up at these events. if it were me i don't even like politics, try to ignore it as much as i can. if i were a reporter and i made my living in being a reporter, i would think as a matter of minimal professional requirement would be my ability to recognize a laroucher when i saw one. they are not that hard to pick out, so i would report add that even that was sponsored by the boston tea party activist and a bunch of the same larouchers showed up that showed up last year at the rotary club, and i would report that we instead of hanging it on the people. the fact of the matter is the press knows better than some of the bum rap it on on this movement and it's just -- i don't know whether it is a white the press feels to do what's
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obvious in a case like that, but they do. but again, these are good people and they have a serious purpose and a great ability to put up with differences of opinion among themselves as long as they are civil and respectful of the people. >> based on unfettered individual liberty, jill lepore, was that the founding value of the united states? could you point specifically at that? >> unfettered individual liberty the funding dalia? -- founding value? no i guess would be my answer. there is such a range of ideas that going to what the debate was between liberalism and republicanism. i think probably civic virtue obviously for a generation now historians, political historians have argued virtue, the classical republican is some
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virtue and the political disinterested ness was the core value of most political thinkers who participated in the founding of the united states in the 18th century, but that is a longstanding debate. i don't have a definitive answer for you. >> nobody said unfettered liberalism obviously. we know we have certain civil requirements, and we believe in individual liberty that we believe it should be factored by simple common principles of the decency and good manners. that and hard to figure out. you don't kill somebody, you don't knock somebody down, you don't call them bad names, this and hard to figure out. you taught your kids that when using them to kindergarten. question for mr. armey. he compared members of congress to juvenile delinquents. as a former congressman, should the tea party be suspicious of the congressional tea party
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caucus? >> you know, when a person is in high elective office, that person has been granted by their neighbors with such a trust of duty and honor and surface surface that you have every right to expect the best of them and be skeptical and doubtful of any self-serving behavior. the fact of the matter is these folks you see now active of the tea party activists are of the country aren't the only ones to see short-sighted self indulgent behavior as regrettably more the norm than the exception among other elective officials. and it is a bitter pill to swallow when you have given people such a sacred privilege and trust as that. so yeah, they are cynical and
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skeptical. if you are held office they've got to worry about you. do you in fact keep the oath that you have taken? do you keep a foot away, you're great ideas, argue just holding down this opposite business for yourself? because there is too much of it going on. so i think the general attitude of these activists is a few hold public office first of all we pay no regard to the party affiliation because we are not interested in political parties here. the vessels. second coming to as an individual in that office mr. mitra's. you don't get it automatically. i want to see you on the job doing your duty. if you do it consistently, to my satisfaction you will have my support. if you don't, i will do everything i can to remove you and get a decent respectful, honorable adults in that office. that is, again, too much to ask. i like to put it this way.
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when i was 16i left home one night and my dad looked at me and said i want you to keep your nose clean, don't be embarrassing his family. that wasn't too much to ask of a 16 year old, i don't think it is too much to ask of a senator. >> taking a point on that jill lepore has raised a couple of times with the 1970's and the left and leading this into a question for you, ms. zernike, during the days of the fee on antiwar mifsud and such and you would see these mass protests, often you hear supporters of the war say the entire war dni movement was often prompted by outside agitators. there were communist party influence, the this was really just a sort of grass-roots astroturf cooperation of sort of this sentiment by folks who meant the country all. what has been your experience covering the tiberi protests and such a sort of political professional operatives class a and charges you will hear levels
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of astroturf verses grassroots? >> talk about this in the book a little bit. groups like freedom works and americans for prosperity who are now working with tea party groups. they have been trying, new entrants, to build the grassroots movement and haven't been able to do it. i mean, you talk about it you have these tax protests and 20 people would show up outside a post office, they were not getting these floods of crowds to washington. so i think we have to recognize this was a response to something. there was a genuine grass-roots element. there may be organizations helping organize the tea party but i don't think you can deny this comes out of genuine grass-roots sentiment, and i think that was prompted by the economic collapse about the economy and buy anchor about the bailout and the stimulus. >> i'm not a scholar on this but i have been struck from day one by the hostility of a lot of the
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cheaper the people of the republican party totally entirely deserved as far as i'm concerned, but now that republicans to the extent deviated from their basic promises to increase freedom and reduce the size of government. and again, i am personally glad somebody is finally standing up and be mad about it. but if this were an effort coordinated from washington by entrenched interests in washington, those interests of course would be filled with the republican party. that is the stands to gain. it seems you wouldn't see that kind of expressed hostility. one of the things republicans have to think about is if they do take the house or the senate back is how were they going to deal with people who elected them? r. the cheaper people going to be psyched to see john boehner as speaker? mabey they are to respect the are not going to be actually tall in all cases. we will find out, but i think it is too simplistic in fact it's wrong to describe them as purely an antiobama movement. i mean it's deeper than that.
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>> and obviously to this point, i mean, the fact speaks for themselves, this movement has had a big impact on the electoral activities of the republican party. to date this movement has a hasn't played a move. now they're going to get on to it. what effect of the matter for anybody to say this is an anti-democratic as much i would take a look of the bumps and bruises some of the republicans are showing. there's a lot of black always out there right now because of the primary season if you are fighting for liberty your fighting for liberty where you have you chance of fighting and the the fighting for it in the republican party. why have they been fighting for in the democratic party? you don't find any jeeves where there are no jeeves or you don't go duenas hunting. [laughter] >> following there were several people what made the point the tea party activists would come from all walks of life.
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you've all races, genders, also all income levels which is naturally mean that there would be people who wouldn't be often and probably some affluent business folks who want to support the movement away that they can be read your own involvement with americans for prosperity, citizens in the economy foundation, your ifill with the cato institute. all of these organizations for example have received money from the charles coates foundation which has gained recent press attention and support basically for seed money for various conservative libertarian market oriented causes, and i'm just wondering what will you see sunders who have the resources to help support the type of ideas, factors and movements and such, what role are they playing in the tea party right now and i would really address that to ms. zernike, mr. carlson and mr. armey. >> well i would be happy to take a lot of lessons from cadel but they never -- they've never
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given me any money sadly. laughter ) i would be shocked if you took a poll of people liked to take off work to retreat to a party rally or will some day or get on a bus, can you imagine, these are people who are making a commitment during uncomfortable things to express their views. what do you think of the charles coates foundation or whatever it is, one in 100? exactly. maybe there is some kind of conspiracy but it's gone beneath my radar. >> there are two of them. i would put their name and idea appendix but it would turn out to be pretty big losers in that deal. coats to my great satisfaction to support any association with freedom works. i can live with that happily. but there are folks across the country that support our work and our position has always been by the way as we have a grass-roots organization, our
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funding is grassroots funding, too. usually comes in small denominations and repeating contributions. but what we do is very simple. we don't sell a page in a poll or peddle a bum steer. we tell folks this is what we do. what we do support. if they do appreciate it, we go home, a check shows up and we are always grateful for it, but the fact of the matter is i am still looking for that billionaire that is supposed to be funding as and if you guys can identify him, let me know because i could sure use the financial assistance. >> one thing i would say is it actually doesn't cost a lot of money to fet party rally in your local time to review the couple's lines, call your neighbors, so i think the focus on money is a little bit misplaced. money matters, we know that from
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politics to read a lot of the foundations where they are putting their money for instance behind the initiative in california to repeal the herron by fermenters standards and in to political advertising i don't think they're putting their money into global multi-party groups, i don't think that is what is happening. and i think again the focus on money gets us away from the focus on what we really need to be thinking about looking toward the midterms which is how are the tea party is organizing and that is what is going to make the difference with what is important with the tea party is the energy that they are bringing to the midterms and possibly 2012 and whether or not you agree with of a tea party needs to understand that if you do if you don't need to mature counter argument but i've think the sort of obsessed about the money to much is missing the point somewhere. >> i have a question that references de tocqueville's democracy for america which means this is a jill lepore's question. and whoever else wishes to comment. in 1835 the author describes some forms of patriotism as an
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extension of selfishness. in light of the rebellion of 76 and the whiskey rebellion of 79 for -- and by the way isn't it great to be at an even to can discuss shays' rebellion and the whiskey rebellion and get coverage for it? [laughter] you've got to love america. both of which come shays robinette whiskey rebellion, the questioner asks, or uprising against taxes and big government and led to the constitution as a stronger federal government. always the tea party not just an extension of the selfish, private interest at the expense of the common good? >> speed it is a complicated question. i'm going to jump in there. because i am a big fan and feel i can speak of the observations. i guess how is the tea party not -- no, the tea party is not -- >> extension of the selfish interest at the common good, that is the freezing of the question. >> know it's not. think it is genuine and earnest,
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and i think -- i have spent not near as much time as kate ki party but i taught for a few years and it's very exciting. people are interested in the revolution. no one has ever cared about the revolution. [laughter] but shays' rebellion, a collector for an hour. i was fascinated people in the streets of boston becoming out with their strike corns and calling for a multi-party so would talk to them and treat the i spoke to was great. i loved everybody i talked to. i didn't find a lot of hostile people. i certainly didn't find anyone the was rude to me and i think a good reason to be concerned harlemite perceive their faults of history. i was fascinated how they thought about history, and it is fundamental debate between liberals and republicanism do we pursue our own self-interest is that in the best interest or to
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react with a disinterested civic virtue in the republican and classical republican sens is something they've really care about. i think the interest in the revolution is passionate and deeply held. i think the way that when i became fascinated by, you know, as a scholar and somebody that works in the archives and the interpretations as the base of other scholars come teaches students how to write a paper and be critical of the evidence and you do need to read the founding documents and read them as documents and as a historian be critical of the things about under what context were the documents written, the hour messages they have. that isn't to denigrate them or fail to respect them. it's actually to i think it is in fact how we do respect the past is to interrogate and inquire about it rather than this is something circuit marshall spoke eloquently about. not completely lost my train of thought. this is what always happens when i start with shays' rebellion i always end up lost. [laughter] to the answer the question?
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[laughter] >> i had an end. so when i went to the boston tea party of course people are even more passionate about the boston piece of the american revolution, how they thought about the revolution was really quite different than the we i think about and that's what i mean by thinking that in some ways of the time this brings effort from usa today asking how do you understand as as a political movement and here you were saying earlier it's not about politics and if it's not really a political movement, much more like a religious survival and even a the level of organizations. you know, i'm not sure that salles wolinski is instrumental ways as a model but really the second great awakening, the movement of creatures throughout, and it is sort of saw your status of an emotional appeal, the urgency of the fight of good and evil is as much more how people i talked to thought
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about the american past, and it is different than the way i think about it and that's okay we can think about it differently i just think it's important to mark the difference. >> i would like to offer a concept here. it is a policy movement. the concerns are about what is the public policy that would govern migrant children in this country? and public policies are made by the holders, people acquire office to politics. you can't be in different politics but you must recognize politics is if only for the office holder or office seeker is politics at the end to itself. politics only matters in the lives of the ordinary citizen insofar as it results in the policies that govern their lives and the lives of their grandchildren. so this is a policy movement. that presents politics being given priority by officeholders over policy and they are fearful
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of that. you're putting your political needs ahead of my grandson's policy needs, and i resent that and it makes me angry and i am going to do something about it. >> we, of course, have several questions dealing specifically with matters related to 2010 and by extension 2012 campaigns. i will ask this question of mr. armey and then rephrase it different for mr. carlson. mr. armey, will you name three persons the you could support for president in 2012? >> three persons i could support for president in 2012. >> not 18th century. [laughter] >> no -- >> they have to be living -- >> you don't have to snow again i get your drift. [laughter] that is a north dakota and expression. >> i'm from minnesota. >> okay, you got it. jim demint is probably the
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current officeholder who is most widely respected by the folks in this movement. i think mitch daniels, the governor of indiana, is gaining a great regard across the country. certainly the governor of new jersey has set an example for all the governors on fiscal policy matters. u.s. governor pawlenty making quite an effort to get to people that no one appreciate him. there are no shortages of good people that are conservative principles and the ideals that we share this movement and served them well. would they serve them without discipline? probably not come so we would be there to discipline and encourage whoever is elected. but no, there is no shortage of good people. i'm sure i could find others and i sure there is something i shouldn't have overlooked and i probably already have, and somebody will correct me about
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it. >> could that person be from alaska and not named miller? [laughter] ..